Facebook has kicked off a beta testing in at least six countries where the social networking giant is displaying a split News Feed to its users, according to the company. According to Adam Mosseri, Facebook’s executive responsible for the News Feed, the split News Feed is currently available in Slovakia, Cambodia, Bolivia, Guatemala, Serbia and Sri Lanka. The testing involves a dedicated user feed for posts by individual users and another space, which Facebook calls Explore, for posts shared by Facebook Pages of organizations or brands you follow on the platform.
The testing is currently limited to the territories mentioned above, with the Menlo Park, California-based company announcing that it does not plan to expand the experimental News Feed to other countries at the moment. Users who are experiencing the new change with Facebook will be able to continue seeing two separate feeds for an indefinite period of time, though it has been confirmed by Mosseri that the company has no plans yet to roll out a final version of the split News Feed to its more than two billion users worldwide. For social media managers who currently maintain Facebook Pages for various organizations and causes, the change could mean that in the near future they will have to pay for ads that would keep their visibility to their followers, lest they lose a big chunk of their subscribers and followers. That will be the case if the separate user feeds make it to a full release, which is still anybody’s guess as the company has been known for testing new features and ultimately ditching the experiment at a later stage if it appears impractical to proceed with the feature in question. It is worth pointing out that the tests do not cover all of the users in the six countries where the beta feature has been rolled out, according to some residents in Serbia for example.
The Facebook News Feed has been frequently receiving new changes in recent times, including an improved readability and a new design in August. The beta feature is part of Facebook’s efforts to keep its users glued to its website for an extended period, though it remains to be seen how the split News Feed would help to retain people in the social networking platform. It is also interesting to note how the experimental feature could affect web traffic for various sites.